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Extended Warranties: Do you think they are worth the money?

My laptop broke last week for at least fifth time since I’ve had it.

Gratefully, I have an extended warranty on it, a backup laptop, and almost all of my business stuff is virtual (not computer-dependent). As you can tell, I’ve been around this track one too many a time to not have a back-up plan in place.

The fix just took one phone call and a short consultation with tech support and in minutes they promised to send a new adapter–all free of charge. Two days later, the adapter arrived on my doorstep and my computer was fixed… yet again.

When I bought the laptop, it was my first laptop to purchase and my first time to decide to fork over the extra money for an extended warranty. Knowing how often I use my computers and knowing my track record with breaking them, my husband and I felt it was a wise choice.

That extra $300 or so for the extended warranty felt like a lot at the time, but it’s paid for itself many times over in the last two years. I’ve had my keyboard replaced, my adapter replaced twice, the motherboard replaced (a tech came to our home to do that; I didn’t know anyone still made "house calls" these days!), and spent more than five hours put together on the phone with tech support.

If I had had to take my computer in and get it fixed each of these times, I do not doubt it would have been quite a bit more than that initial $300 for the extended warranty. And I would have also had to hassle with taking it in and picking it up, not to mention finding a reliable tech store in the first place.

When I bought my second laptop, I didn’t blink twice when the associate asked if I wanted to buy a warranty. He was all prepared to explain the different warranties to me when I blurted out confidently, "I’ll take the three-year extended warranty." And guess what? We’ve already made good use of it on the second laptop.

I’ve come to the conclusion that at least for us, buying an extended warranty on laptops is a no-brainer. It saves headache, it saves time, and it saves money.

Do you buy extended warranties or do you think they are a waste of money?

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58 Comments

  • Katherine says:

    I’m too cheap for warranties on most things. I generally buy products that are inexpensive enough that I would rather replace them if they broke. That said, I had a laptop screen die in 2005 less than a month after the one month free warranty ran out. While it was frustrating, I just hooked up an extra monitor that I had and used the laptop as a desktop.

    Last year my husband and I splurged on a new television for $500. Since the only day we had transportation to the store was a Sunday, I paid the extra $50 for the four-year warranty to cover any acts of God due to shopping on the Sabbath. 🙂 So far, everything has been fine.

  • Melissa says:

    I think for big purchaes, that it is way worth it.
    We bought 2 laptops a year ago for my husband, who is away a lot at sea, and myself.
    We have 3 kids and felt that if anything, they would be the reason for something breaking or a accident.
    Thank goodness we had a extended warranty and the best warrnaty. It cover everything that can happen physically to your computer (Dropping it, spilling liquid, breaking screen…)
    Not a few months after we bought them , my youngest came by and knocked my coffee all over the laptop. It was burnt.
    Took it in and they replaced all the parts they died, if they could not have fixed it, I would have been given a new laptop.
    So all in all, I think it is a great choice on major and expensive purchases.

  • Iva says:

    My Man Beast happens to be a Tech Beast as well, so no, I wouldn’t buy extended warranties on anything electronic. Come to think of it, I don’t buy warranties on anything — but then again, I hardly buy anything new to begin with…

  • Crystal says:

    My husband and I usually decide if we should buy the extended warranty based off the value of the item and if we would be able to have enough money saved to buy a brand new one should the item break. For instance in our home on my double oven we bought the warranty and on our dishwasher we did not. We knew the oven was much more of an expense if it broke. The funny thing is…the oven is the only thing that has had trouble so far! Glad for the warranty and Thanks to the Lord for keeping everything else running!

  • Crystal says:

    My husband and I usually decide if we should buy the extended warranty based off the value of the item and if we would be able to have enough money saved to buy a brand new one should the item break. For instance in our home on my double oven we bought the warranty and on our dishwasher we did not. We knew the oven was much more of an expense if it broke. The funny thing is…the oven is the only thing that has had trouble so far! Glad for the warranty and Thanks to the Lord for keeping everything else running!

  • Tina says:

    I think on a laptop a warranty is a MUST. I’ve actually heard Good Housekeeping and/or Consumer Reports or some such company’s recommendations on it also. Most warranties are wasted money, but on a laptop I agree 100% that it will pay for itself before the time on it is even halfway up.

  • Andrea says:

    Well…

    Unless you have contacts or know folks who can get your laptop/computer/fridge/car/stove/whatever else fixed inexpensively, I heartily agree with an extended warranty.

    My father in law recently told my half sister in law (do ya follow?) that it was “…downright stupid to even think about wasting your money on an extended warranty for a certified used car.” Of course, being the slightly snarky and opinionated chick I am, I had to pipe up, “Well..I bought one for my car back in 2003. And renewed it in 2005 when it expired…” My hubby interrupted and told them that I had also bought a GM Certified Used car, and after owning it 6 months, had over $4500 in repairs on a radiator overflow pan breaking (thus emptying my radiator, and my engine blowing up). I had other repairs too numerous to mention, but had I not bought that warranty and renewed it, I’d have spent well over 10K on a car I spent 11K on. They’re a must in my opinion.

    My parents bought us a videocamera for Christmas – granted, I have no clue how to use the thing, but I have a bad case of ‘dropsy,’ and DH and I felt that an extended warranty would be a good thing.

    If you’re going to spend tons of money on something, frankly, it is so worth the extra 100 to 300 dollars. It is more frugal to do that then succumb to ‘whatif”! 🙂

  • Cathe says:

    I was surprised to learn that Dave Ramsey does NOT buy extended warranties. I realize it paid off for you, though. It’s always a tough decision. But since Dave Ramsey said no… we probably wouldn’t do it.

  • april says:

    We always purchase the extended warranties. They have saved us numerous high costs over the years.

    We recently purchased a Xbox 360 game at Best Buy and they now sell replacement warranties on them now. Since we have 4 of us that play the games, it’s definitely worth the extra $(I think it was $10) for an expensive game.

  • Shannon/MrsCoach says:

    We buy used (new to us) cars, well, lease returns, and the original warranty is usually close to being up within a year. We ALWAYS purchase the extended warranties for the vehicles, the maximum coverage. We buy it through the dealer close to the original warranty end date, and get the maximum time (usually 4 years or 60,000 miles) It costs us about $3600 but well worth it! Our first van got a whole new transmission and two new entertainment systems. Our van now (actually in for repair right now, has been for the past three weeks for all new electrical throughout the engine) has had well over $4000 worth of work and still has 30,000 miles of coverage left! The coverage even covers a comparable rental car for the extent of the repair! Can’t beat it. We travel so much and drive our cars until they just can’t go anymore (or until the extended warranty expires) so it’s been well worth it for us!

  • Julie says:

    We’ve had bad experiences with portable DVD players, which my children use for school. After the first one died two days after the 90 day warranty expired, we vowed that it was worth it to protect our investment.

    So far, the only problem we’ve come up against is that Zenith (LG) is insisting that a faulty AC adapter is considered an ancilliary device, and is therefore not included under the warranty.

  • I agree. The old tightwad advice about extended warranties doesn’t work with today’s technology.

    Our laptop warranty has more than paid for itself. Even our very basic refrigerator has had 3 service calls–thanks, Lowes, for a $95 warranty that covered it all!

    I will buy an extended warranty for any large appliance or computer from here on out.

  • Jennifer says:

    Laptops are one of the few items for which I would buy a warranty, and even then I would consider the useage pattern for it. When I was in college, I had a laptop which sat on my desk most of the time with no warranty, and it didn’t have any problems for 3 and a half years. On the other hand, my husband tends to be harder on laptops, so for him the warranty is always a worthwhile investment.

  • SH says:

    For us, extended warranties have varied. But, every time we’ve bought one, we’ve needed it. — Bought used van, engine blew up 2 weeks before baby #2 arrived! Definitely needed the warranty (saved us over $6,000); bought new top-loading high-efficiency washer, pump and circuit board each went up 3 times and had to be replaced – got new parts and finally the lemon clause kicked in and we got a new washer; glad we had the warranty (saved over $1200). But, for the new refrigerator that had a really good Consumer Report rating and no “untried” technology – nope didn’t get the extended warranty and haven’t needed it! For a laptop I think we’d definitely get the extended warranty – too delicate, too expensive (for us) to fix.

  • Kari says:

    Our family has also found that digital camera warranties are worthwhile. I think the theme is that if it’s something electronic that you hold or carry around often (laptops, camcorders, cameras), then extended warranties are worthwhile.

  • Emily says:

    Just on the computers – AppleCare is worth every cent.

  • Sarah says:

    Crystal, this isn’t really about extended warranties, but just to let you know that we had a laptop that was past the point of repair. I thought it was worthless but we used Laptopheaven.com and got over $200 for it! They paid the postage and gave us a free quote based on the condition of the laptop. So if you ever have a dead laptop, this is an option for getting rid of it and possibly getting some money for it.
    I don’t get warranties, generally, but on some purchases, they are worth it! Even though Dave Ramsey doesn’t recommend them, it was obviously worth it for you to get one on your laptop!

  • Dani Wegman says:

    Do you have a Dell? Because I had the exact same problems with my Dell Laptop.

    Given that I travel for work a lot the extended warranty made absolute sense to me. Also since I’m on job sites all the time, I also paid $100 for LoJack on my laptop. So if its stolen it can be located.

  • Shannon says:

    If I need an extended warranty for something I would wonder the quality of it. Not to say your computers are not quality and other appliances others have gotten warranties for. I guess my question is this: After all the problems you have had, would you buy that same brand/product again?

  • Nancy says:

    I have an extended warranty on my treadmill. It has more than paid for itself many times over. Plus when twice when it broke and they didn’t make that treadmill anymore I got an upgrade. I started out with a $600 treadmill and now own a $1200 treadmill. Didn’t cost me another cent.

    I also have an extended warranty on my car that I have used. And getting ready again because the air is making a noise.

  • Aryn says:

    A computer expert with a Los Angeles radio show says that laptops are the only products for which he buys extended warranties, and always recommends them for laptops. His main concern is the monitor. If the pixels start to die or something else happens to the screen, replacing the screen costs almost as much as replacing the laptop.

  • Tammy L says:

    Oh, my! I hope I never have that many computer troubles!! 🙂

    Considering that $300 is almost what we paid for my laptop/computer, that sounds like a lot to me! But, you have much bigger business things that rely on having a good working computer. 🙂

    I’ve never had any computer problems, ever. I guess I’m either really blessed or else I don’t use my computer like some people do!

    Now website issues, that’s a whole other story. 😉

  • Katy says:

    I see a trend, for those of you saying that you get your money’s worth out of a warranty, be it on a car or a laptop…It seems that you’re buying a poor product to begin with! Of COURSE you’re going to have lots of expensive repairs if you buy something sub-par! I don’t buy warranties, because I do extensive research on whatever product (or car, etc.) I’m buying, and I get one that has a good track record. I check Consumer Reports, epinions, anything I can get my hands on.

    Of course, this doesn’t apply to people with “dropsy” (LOL!) or children. But for my hubby and me, we put normal wear-and-tear on things, so a warranty isn’t really necessary.

    Food for thought: Ever considered that places keep offering warranties because they MAKE a lot of money off of them? They aren’t offering them out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s business, and it’s profitable for them. So, I’d rather put that money in savings instead of lining Best Buy’s pockets.

    *************
    Money Saving Mom here: I think many extended warranties are rip-offs, but I don’t think so on laptops, at least not with how much I use them. We did extensive research before we got my main laptop and paid a pretty penny for it (even while getting a great deal on it!) so I don’t think it’s that it’s subpar, I think it’s just that I use it a LOT. I also take it with me when we travel, etc. Plus we have children. All of this adds up to making extended warranties a no-brainer.

    If we didn’t have children and I only used the laptop on occasion or only a little bit every day, it’d probably be different story and maybe extended warranties wouldn’t be worth it.

  • Michelle says:

    My husband and i usually dont purchase extended waranties for the items that we buy however we are starting to rethink it. A few months ago our fridge broke… we bought it off craigslist, it was about a year old. I called GE and it turned out that the previous owners had an extended warranty that we were still covered by. If we hadnt been so lucky it could have easily cost us $300 to fix.

  • Rachel says:

    My husband buys every extended warranty. I am very frugal and see this as an added expense, well…used to! I am so thankful that he has taught me to forsee possible issues and it’s such a blessing to have it in place when something does break. I am with Crystal in the “I break things” catagory.

  • Keri says:

    I purchased the no-fault warranty on my laptop and that’s about the only warranty I would pay for. I’ve had my entire computer replaced when I knocked a can of coke into my laptop. Right there, it was certainly worth it. I’ve had several other issues that have been fixed in no time and at no cost to me.

  • Precious says:

    I have only paid for two extended warranties in my lifetime. One was for a $3000. refrigerator that I felt would be expensive to fix if it broke and the warranty extension for 6 years was cheap and one was for DH’s GPS last Christmas because I had heard of all the problems with them and wanted to make sure we were covered. Normally we don’t buy extended warranties because most things don’t break!

  • Danielle says:

    We always buy the extended warranty on brand new electronics and we have insurance on our cell phones. I have needed my ipod serviced, my desktop, my laptop and I can’t tell you how many times we have washed or dropped our cell phones. Well worth the money in our case.

  • Bethany says:

    Here is a funny story about warranties…We moved into a rent house last year that didn’t have a fridge. So, we dreaded paying top dollar for a new fridge, so we spent several weeks looking for a used nice refrigerator. ( We had a garage fridge, just not very nice) Anyway, we found a great 3 door stainless steel fridge with the freezer on the bottom for $500.00! We bought it, plugged it in and it didn’t work. So the guy we bought it from said he would return our money and take the fridge or we could buy it for $100.00 and get it fixed. It was such a nice fridge, we decided to keep it. We called Sears the next day, it was still covered under full warranty, parts and labor, so we got a $2,000.00 fridge for $100.00! We love it, and we bought the extended 5 year warranty since these fridges are known to have their compresser break after 3 years! What a deal!

  • Misty says:

    We had a huge tv that my husband bought before we were married and he spent 2700 and was smart enough to get the four year warranty the tv went out two months before the warranty expired. Which was awesome because best buy just gave us that money on a gift card! It did take over a month to get it taken care of but we bought a much cheaper nice small tv from wal-mart and we used our best buy bucks for a new computer and dish washer. But I’ve learned to read the warranty details before I pay for it, because some dont cover really anything! But I do think they are worth it if it has a good coverage and if it was a large purchase!

  • Beth Evans says:

    I think extended warranties are worth their value IF you purchase the correct one. When my husband bought his 2003 Aviator in FEbruary of 2007, he purchased a warranty. However, the warranty was pretty much worthless b/c we didn’t pay attention to the fine print. I think his only covered the labor for repairs and not the parts (or vise versa). The warrany only saved us about $1000 on $6000 of repairs. We’ve already sold that car b/c it was such a money pit:)

  • sadia says:

    Is your laptop by any chance a toshiba satellite series?
    Mine had about 30 repairs before it finally is dead.I HATE that brand now!

  • Rachel says:

    My husband worked for a computer store for many years and the laptops were the only thing he would get an extended warranty on! He would always quote Consumer Reports who said it was imperative to buy them on the laptop. The laptop is not covered if you drop them, etc. otherwise.
    :o) Rachel

  • Kim says:

    This is a great topic of discussion. My husband and I purchase extended warranties on my laptop and cell phone. I have already paid for the cost and then some since I have had them. We also purchased an extended warranty on our first vehicle purchase which also paid for itself. As a side note, I am still driving the car 12 years and 197,000 miles later. For other items, we just take our chances since many big purchases have a 1 year warantee. Our experience has been the item that is a ‘lemon’ will have problems that first year. We don’t find it worth the price for other items.

    Also, read the fine print. Often times, there will be a deductible or other restrictions that don’t make it worth the price.

  • Valerie says:

    I agree with Consumer Reports, laptops and plasma TVs are the only products where it’s generally advisable to buy an extended warranty. Even then tho, I didn’t buy the extended warranty on my laptop because it rarely leaves my house.

    (Boy, CM, you are HARD on computers!!!)

    If you buy well-made products they generally won’t break down from normal use. The minimum warranty companies must offer is frequently regulated by state, plus depending on whether you use a credit card for the purchase, and if the credit card offers it, your original warranty might just be doubled (mine doubles). Most major brand electronics have a 1-year warranty to start off with, so that’s two years for general failure.

    If a $2000 fridge were to conk out on me after 3 years (especially if it’s a known problem), I’d file for a replacement under the lemon law. Most states have them. Life expectancy of a refrigerator is much longer than 3 years, and if a part is repeatedly failing, the manufacturer is liable.

    The one time I bought an extended warranty (it was for an open-box tv at Circuit City) I had to fight the store to get them to honor it, which they finally did.

    If you buy good quality stuff (not necessarily top-of-the-line) and you take good care of it (surge suppressors, keeping dust and dirt out of the vents, general maintenance) most stuff will last YEARS. Unless you’re a dropsy person or have villanous kids.

    I finally retired a 14-year-old VCR last year, as well as 10-year old microwave. I’ve never replaced a computer because the one I had was broke, just outdated. My freezer is almost 20 years old, my fridge is 10… and I better go knock on wood, eh?

  • I have never bought an extended warranty. I do highly regret that fact now though. In the past 2 years I have bought a new desktop and a new laptop. The desktop it totally fried and the laptop’s cd drive doesnt open (6 months later). We paid about 700 for the desktop and 800 for the lap top.

    It would be nice to be able to get them fixed now 🙂 But, live and learn.

  • Rebecca says:

    I think it really depends on what the extended warrenty is for. For your lap top no doubt it was a good choice. For a washer/dryer for a family with 8 kids it might also be a good choice. I imagine it depends on the item and how important it is in your home/how much use it gets and how expensive repairing/replacing it is.

  • Trixie says:

    Hi Crystal,

    I’m so glad you had good warranty coverage, but not I’m a little nervous about buying a laptop. I’m considering purchasing our first one for the business and now that they break all the time…. Yikes! 🙂

    For larger things, we tend to purchase the best extended warranty. We bought a washer a few months ago and got the best warranty. For the next 5 years if anything goes wrong they come to fix it. We rely on the washer A LOT!

    If we were to purchase a car since we plan to keep those until they die, we would definatley get the biggest warranty possible. I know so many people that need to have something really expensive fixed after 5 years. It would be worth it!

    Take Care,
    Trixie

  • What type of laptop do you have? We own a seven-year-old desktop and a four-year-old laptop, and I have never had a problem with either one. So based on that, no I wouldn’t buy the extended warranty on either.

  • Tim says:

    Regardless of how much research you do to buy “quality products” when it comes to technology and electrical components there will always be the unknowns. Plus the type of accidental coverage that covers liquid spills and drops doesn’t care how cheap or expensive the laptop actually was.

    I used to skip on the warranty because I thought I was a technical person. Things like a keyboard replacement are a $15 repair and done easily. The problem is with things like motherboards and LCDs which easily will cost you $300 for the part alone (not to mention you will pay a labor charge for someone to repair it). For that reason I think an extended warranty on a computer is a great investment.

    Cars I would say if you buy new (and you shouldn’t really) then don’t get the warranty because you’re not likely to take advantage of it in the time frame they give you. But if you buy used and they offer it definitely take them up on it.

  • Krista says:

    We only buy extended warranties on two things – laptops and cars. We bought a gateway laptop for about $1500 a few years ago and the warranty was about $300. When the 3 year warranty was close to being up, we took it in because we noticed the fan was louder and it was slower. We also knew the hinge on the screen was cracked, but didn’t bring that up. When we got it back, they had practically rebuilt the computer and gave us a new screen too. It runs like new. It was worth it. We do travel with it and we do have dogs and children, so that played a part in our decision.

    With our Jeep, the warranty was already good, so we did not purchase an additional extended warranty. With our Saturn VUE we did, because we bought it used from the dealer and wanted the extra assurance. We’ve only used it for one minor repair thus far, so it remains to be seen whether it will be worth it or not.

    We’ve never bought any other extended warranties and we do realize these are one of the ways people get ripped off (most of the time).

  • Candice says:

    I thought cell phone insurance was worth it, until my dd dropped hers in water. I still had to pay $50 to replace the phone, I also did the math on the insurance for 3 phones.. $210 a year. I dropped the insurance, it wasn’t saving me money.

    My laptop in an Apple, it came with a 1 year warranty. I had a battery problem after 18 months, I did a little research and found out it was a common problem and Apple replaced it for free.

  • Shannon says:

    Definitely for big buys. I bought the extended warranty for the kids Nintendo Wii, and our new Mac desktop. But do ask what it covers. After finding out that the Nintendo DS Lite is NOT covered from being dropped, cracked, chipping, screen turning to black, case cracking at the hinge…. we asked what was left. The guy said, “You know, like if it just won’t turn on one day.” With a straight face, lol. Now, our Suburban came with a warranty and I have used it twice. It has saved the husband time, because otherwise HE would have had to fix it (speedometer and gas gauges).

  • L Wright says:

    I read in Comsumer’s Guide that the two things you should buy an extended warranty
    for are a laptap and a treadmill.

  • Kim Stafford says:

    Dave Ramsey would say no extended warranty…. especially on vehicles…. I would have to agree… We have purchased an extended warranty on all of our vehicles up to this point, and we have never had to use it. Talk about a waste of 5000 + interest. If we had been on Dave’s plan years ago, we would have felt more comfortable just forking over the money to fix it, instead of adding the money to our loan. hindsights 20/20. We can only move forward from here….

  • Jamie says:

    In college my husband briefly worked for Best Buy, where they push their employees to encourage the extended warranty. He said most of the products sold at that store already have at least a free one year manufacturer’s warranty that would cover anything the Best Buy warranty would. I know my husband would never waste his money on a warranty from a “Big Box” store and if we were to purchase a warranty it would most likely be from the manufacturer.
    I am glad your warranty has paid for itself.

  • amanda says:

    I bought one for my laptop from circuit city. It was a HUGE waste of money because they never wanted to fix my computer, and then they had to replace it and said my warranty still existed. They then, however, cancelled the warranty without my knowledge and without a refund. It was an accidental warranty and everything. Sigh, if only I hadn’t been 18 and spent 500 on a warranty at a company i didn’t know or trust. Thanks for the post though, I’m actually going to pursue this warranty further now 🙂

  • Holly in OK says:

    I think it depends on what you are buying. We bought a 1997 Explorer in 2001 and bought the extended warranty on it. We were never able to use it because the company kept asking us for proof that we’d had the oil changed every 3000 miles since the car’s “birth”, that we’d had the transmission flushed at X number of miles, etc…. All things that we had absolutely no power over because they happened (or didn’t) before we purchased the car from the Ford dealership. I personally thought that when they did their 4 billion point check before selling the used car, THAT is the point at which we should have been responsible for the car, but the warranty company argued that the original treatment of the truck affected the later condition of it. Jerks. They offered us a prorated refund on our warranty, but that was way into the payment process before we needed to use it to begin with, so we’d have literally gotten a couple hundred dollars on what we’d spent 1500 on in the first place. So beware if you don’t have the car from the start or if you don’t have good records from the original owner. Ask lots of questions before you assume the warranty company will honor most repairs.

    We have a home warranty that we absolutely love. We had one when we moved into our home years ago, let it lapse for some irresponsible reason, and have it again. We pay $500 a year on average, but it’s been well worth it in the long run. We’ve had a cooktop and a wall oven completely replaced, as well as several plumbing, electricity, and HVAC visits. The warranty covers virtually everything within the walls of the house and ALL appliances, down to the $50 microwave. We pay a $40 copay if they have to come out, well below the cost of an hour’s visit by an electrician, plumber, etc., and all parts are paid for by the warranty company. We recently signed back up for it when we realized our washer (10 years old) was starting to make some pretty funky noises, and when we realized our A/C was who knows how old and not working as well as before. Now if/when it does go, $40 will buy us an entirely new and efficient system! Well worth the $40 a month in our opinion. Now, if you had an all new house with all new things, maybe it wouldn’t be as important. But with a 50 year old house with 20 year old water heaters, plumbing, and a/c, 10 year old appliances….It’s a no brainer.

    But we skipped the warranty/insurance on our $100 cell phones because a year’s worth of payments equaled $100 each, and we figured we’d just replace the thing for the same OOP money if not less if they did die.

  • Mary says:

    It depends on what the item is. We just had to purchase a new dishwasher (my 40yr old one died after dh had fixed it three times for three different things, yes it was 40 yrs old that is not a typo!) did we get the extended warranty, no because it has a three year warranty from the company and I know my dh can fix anything (PTL) when I bought my van yes, I got the extended warranty (even though my inlaws thought we were nuts because my dh can fix anything). Same thing for our computers we never buy the extended warranties on them because my dh is very tech savvy and able to fix things on them easily and quickly (all of our computers are ones we have built from scratch to our specs) of course we also never hire anything out to be done on our house either we do everything ourselves from the interior painting and flooring to the siding and windows we did it all! We even built our own garage! The biggest part of any repair is the labor involved in the repair not the parts! I am truly blessed that dh (or I) an fix and make just about anything PTL!

  • Rachel says:

    A lawyer once gave me a helpful piece of advice about buying extended warranties on vehicles. He said to not buy them through the dealer; buy them directly from the manufacturer, and you can save about $300.

    We do have an extended warranty on our van. We originally purchased it while living in Alaska, where roads are pretty rough. In Alaska, 80% of the warranties end up paying for themselves. It was a wise decision for us because of the circumstances: rough roads, lots of driving, we had a new baby, and I’m disabled. We needed to make sure that our vehicle would be kept in top condition, and that it would be affordable.

    We have now moved out of Alaska and took our vehicle with us. Even down here with good road conditions we’ve already used the warranty a couple of times. We probably wouldn’t have purchased it if we bought the vehicle while living in the Lower 48 states, but it sure has been good to have it, even down in the south.

  • Katie L says:

    We don’t pay extra for extended warranties… EXCEPT on laptops! They’re just easier to break than other electronics and we’re hard on them, and we’ve found the warranties pay for themselves after a few years.

  • i did on my fridge and stove, but another thing they are great on if you have more than the average size family is a vacuum!!!
    I know it sounds crazy, but my mom would buy a vacuum, no matter how expensive and still have replace it yearly. With the extended warranty, she could buy a cheap one, spend an extra 30-50 dollars and have one for three years. It saved her money and oh, boy we used it! She may be the exception tot he rule though…..there was 11 children in the family and we often had extra people, 17 in the household one time for extended periods of time. they got a beating!

  • Jan says:

    I have never owned a lap top computer and probably never will. They are much too expensive and seem to break a lot! I have an old Dell desk top and it works just fine. Otherwise I can go to the library and use a computer if I need too. The only thing we bought an extended warranty on was our van we bought used. It has had some electrical work- so I think it was worth it. I am more likely to just want to save the money though.

  • tammy says:

    Absolute 100% waste for us. But we use Mac’s and seriously have never had any problem with any of them! 🙂 We’ll never own a pc again!

  • Mary says:

    Even though Dave Ramsey says they are a complete waste of money, we have really appreciated having one on our mini-van. We live on very rough roads, and have had about $10,000 work done on the car. That $2100 warranty was worth it. 🙂

  • Angela says:

    I have never bought an extended warranty on anything. The only thing I can think of that broke early was a portable dvd player that I bought for our car. When the screen went out I just returned it to costco and got a new one no questions asked. I bought a used Honda with 26k miles on it and sold it with 100k miles on it and never had any problems and didn’t buy a warranty? I don’t own a laptop but after reading everything here if I did I just might consider a warranty on that.

  • I’ve listened to Clark Howard and more recently Dave Ramsey. I’ve also had some experience working for a company which sold extended warranties. As a result, I feel I’ve come up with a fairly good happy medium opinion on them.

    What it boils down to is this: Think of an extended warranty as insurance. Buy it like you would any other insurance product. If the cost of insurance is something you can afford where you could not afford the cost of the repair if it breaks, then you consider the insurance. It doesn’t matter what it is (car, computer, house).

    In general, all insurance is a waste of money because you are only buying it in case you need to use it and most of the time you will not use it. Over time, statistically, you will have paid more for the insurance than you would have received in benefit claims.

    My experience working on the sales end of extended warranties (for computer products specifically) is that if the extended warranty is offered by a company other than the manufacturer of the product, do not buy it. You will more likely run into problems getting your product serviced by a third party company (the recent comment by Jamie regarding a Circuit City warranty is a good example here). If the warranty is by the manufacturer of the product, you should get the same level of service as you would if it was under the out-of-box warranty (AppleCare is probably the best example of this).

  • Beth says:

    Hey Crystal,
    IMHO, There are some warranties that are worth it and some that are not. I have had two laptops and you are right they are SO worth it! We also have warranties on our appliances. Hubby can’t fix them and we have had people out to fix our dishwasher 3 times (and it is less than 2 years old!). So that is what we think is worth the warranties on. Appliances and laptops!

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